We now know the Mueller Special Counsel Investigation of the Trump-Russia "collusion" claims was a politically motivated hoax. In the end, Robert Mueller appeared before Congress and seemed befuddled throughout his testimony. Pictured: Mueller testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on July 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
We now know the Mueller Special Counsel Investigation of the Trump-Russia "collusion" claims was a politically motivated hoax. The investigation dragged on for months. Despite increasingly hysterical Leftist speculation of criminal conspiracies and treason -- not a single claim was ever made against the President. In the end, Robert Mueller appeared before Congress and seemed befuddled throughout his testimony -- "Not with a bang, but with a whimper."
Consequently, it appears necessary that Mueller and his team need to be the subjects of a criminal investigation. Last week, responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, the Justice Department released heavily redacted documents showing that several dozen phones belonging to members of Mueller's team were "wiped" or disabled before they could be examined by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz during his office's review of the special counsel's investigation.
In each case, the government phones were somehow "accidentally" rendered useless. Two were "in airplane mode, no passcode provided, data unable to be recovered so had to be wiped." FBI lawyer Lisa Page's phone was inexplicably restored to factory settings. Lawyer James Quarles' phone was said to have spontaneously wiped itself. Several other phones, such as the one used by Mueller deputy Andrew Weissman, were disabled after inputting too many incorrect passwords. It should be noted that disabling an iPhone this way, including the timeouts, would take well over an hour of effort.
Are we truly supposed to believe that all of these phones just happened to erase themselves? You will remember that these very same attorneys and investigators sought to imprison George Papadopoulos for 20 years simply for switching cell phones and deactivating his Facebook account. The government argued that Papadopoulos knowingly committed obstruction per 18 US Code section 1519, with the intent of impeding or otherwise influencing a federal investigation. One set of rules for ordinary citizens -- another set of rules for the Titans of the Justice Department. This is yet another reason why people loathe attorneys and government bureaucrats.
More than 37 years of investigative experience has taught me that there is no such thing as a coincidence. The size and scope of the "accidental" phone erasures within the Mueller team office is incredible and outrageous. What were these people hiding?
Was Mueller aware of what his underlings were up to? Given his dazed performance before Congress, one would conclude that Mueller had little or no idea what was happening in the office. The flagrant, outrageous abuse of record-keeping and phone communications requirements by the Mueller team is a prime avenue for further criminal investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham. Attorney General Barr recently said there will be more indictments. Let's hope so.
The "you or me" standard, when applied to this case of official misconduct is the key. Simply substitute "you or me" -- the reader or Chris Farrell -- for any of the Mueller team operatives, and then ask yourself if you would be permitted to get away with it. Could we walk away unscathed? No questions, no legal exposure or jeopardy? Of course not. That is what is so deeply corrosive to the public's trust and faith in the Department of Justice -- and the criminal justice system generally. As that continues to disintegrate, we move closer and closer to being a failed state. The only remedy is the rigorous prosecution of the offenders.
Chris Farrell is a former counterintelligence case officer. For the past 20 years, he has served as the Director of Investigations & Research for Judicial Watch. The views expressed are the author's alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.